Residential hospice to be built this spring in Miramichi

Hospice Miramichi is ready to start construction of a $3.5 million residential hospice this spring.

$3.5 million hospice will provide care for patients, support for families

A new hospice will be built this spring in Miramichi, N.B. (Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Hospice Miramichi is ready to start construction of a $3.5 million residential hospice space this spring.

The chair of the hospice board, Paul McGraw, told Shift New Brunswick on Wednesday that it felt surreal that they are this close to breaking ground on the project.

"We've dreamt about this since the organization was formed back in 2011," he said.

Hospice Miramichi offers daytime hospice services for patients and their families at their location on Howard Street. The new location on Gordon Road will provide a place to live for patients in the last three months of their lives, and will have space for family members to stay overnight as well. It is expected the eight bed facility will be a home-like place for people needing 24-hour end-of-life care.

One of the goals of the organization is to educate the community on the need and value for hospice services, McGraw said.

"I made a presentation a month or so ago to a local organization and I asked them, 'What does hospice do?' 'Oh, you help people who are dying' and I said 'No, I have to correct you. We help people to live until they can't live anymore.'"

Hospice Miramichi are ready to start construction of a $3.5 million hospice this spring. Chair of the hospice board, Paul McGraw, explained the need for the facility - and what breaking ground for it means to him. 12:35

There are a number of other services slated to be offered at the new hospice centre, including support for patients and families through illnesses and a program for those taking care of loved ones at home.

"We're not the Grim Reaper in the corner here," McGraw said. "We're there to help families, to help people that are going through life-ending illnesses, not just in the last stages of their life but through the whole final chapter, which could be years."

McGraw said in hospice care settings, there is more emphasis on supporting the families and they are just one option for individuals, he added.

He noted the project would not be possible without Dr. Gerard Losier and Judy Losier, who are taking on the financial responsibility of building the new hospice through their philanthropic organization.

With files from Shift